The White House is sounding the alarm that Russia will provide advanced defense equipment to Iran, after Tehran has provided Russian forces with a supply of lethal drones that it has used to inflict punitive damage on Ukrainian infrastructure and civilians.
And President Joe Biden told reporters that at this point he is not worried about China supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine.
“There’s no evidence of that so far,” Biden said.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby raised the possibility in a call with reporters on the day the administration imposed more sanctions on Russia on the anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine.
“We believe that Russia could provide Iran with unprecedented defense cooperation, including missile, electronic and air defense. We think Russia could provide Iran with fighter jets,” Kirby said.
He made the comment following reports that Russia is in talks to buy military drones from China, despite repeated warnings by Western powers to stay out of the conflict.
Admiral John Kirby has warned that Russia can provide “unprecedented” defense cooperation to Iran, which has been supplying drones to Russia.
President Joe Biden said “there is no evidence of that so far,” when asked if he was concerned that China would help Russia in the war in Ukraine.
“Iran is looking for billions of dollars worth of military equipment,” Kirby said, mentioning helicopters and radar.
He did not provide information on the type of aircraft or the time frame.
It all takes place in the midst of a relentless war that has both sides scouring the globe for ammunition and equipment.
The Pentagon announced its own $2 billion aid package for Ukraine on Friday, complete with new Switchblade 600 killer drones, along with artillery shells and laser-guided munitions.
In a break with the past, the DOD did not provide the number of artillery shells provided, amid concerns about the size of reserves and following a startling intelligence breach.
The White House has announced another package of sweeping sanctions targeting Russia on the first anniversary of its brutal invasion of Ukraine, with renewed efforts to target third countries, including China, for sanctions evasion.
The most recent sanctions, adding to a series of previous initiatives, target 200 individuals or entities, and involve sectors such as finance, defense and technology, amid the ongoing clash of powers to see whose side the guns, ammunition and reserves can resist.
“We continue to impose significant costs on Russia for its illegal war against Ukraine, including through additional sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in India during a meeting with UK Chancellor of Finance Jeremy Hunt.
“Our global coalition is working tirelessly to disrupt Russian military supply chains, limit Kremlin revenue, and make it harder for them to use the money they have to obtain military equipment abroad,” he said.
President Joe Biden (CL) walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (CR) at St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral during an unannounced visit, in Kiev on February 20, 2023. The US announced additional sanctions against Russia and third countries that evade sanctions
Russian T-72B3 tanks fire on Ukrainian fortified positions in Ukraine in undated footage.
The sanctions come amid concerns from allies about increasingly close ties between Russia and China.
The Treasury Department, State Department, and Commerce Department announced new coordinated sanctions efforts.
The White House touted the new sanctions package, which it had envisioned during President Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine, in a statement.
“As part of this announcement, we will target a dozen Russian financial institutions, in alignment with allies and partners, as well as Russian officials and proxy authorities operating illegitimately in Ukraine,” according to the White House.
“We will sanction additional actors linked to Russia’s technology and defense industry, including those responsible for restocking Russian stocks of sanctioned items or allowing the evasion of Russian sanctions.”
The purpose of the sanctions Russia’s future energy capabilities “in a way that does not affect current production to minimize market disruption,” according to the White House, amid Europe’s continued reliance on Russia for its energy needs.
Penalties against Russia’s metals and mining sector, again ‘adapted to minimize market disruption’, amid indications that some of Russia’s most withering attacks are on parts of Ukraine that have mineral or mining assets.
The government imposes increases in tariffs more than 100 Russian metals, minerals and chemicals valued at $2.8 billion, according to the White House.
Biden is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting from the White House with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the White House on Friday about the efforts. The event is scheduled to be closed to the press.
Yellen spoke about the sanctions at a meeting with other finance ministers and bank governors in Bangalore amid India’s G20 presidency.
“In the coming year, we will redouble our efforts to disrupt Russian sanctions evasion efforts. That includes sharing intelligence, identifying and taking down specific networks, and making it more difficult for companies and jurisdictions to serve as circumvention channels,” he promised.
“Our joint work also includes the price cap for Russian crude oil and refined products. While it is still early days, we are seeing progress towards its twin goals of reducing revenue from Russia and promoting stability in global oil markets,” he said.
The White House published a detailed fact sheet about your efforts to date. The moves, along with the actions of allies, have isolated Russia.
The data mentions China by name as one of those on the ‘entity list’ of those who evade sanctions and help pad Russia’s defense sector.
“These listings will prohibit selected companies from purchasing items, such as semiconductors, either made in the US or with certain US technology or software abroad,” according to the White House.
A view of the damaged building is seen after the Russian attack as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine on February 22, 2023
A Ukrainian army medic from the 72nd Mechanized Brigade treats a soldier at a stabilization hospital near the front lines in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
“We continue to impose significant costs on Russia for its illegal war against Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.